In June, we got wind that DJI was about to release its most affordable drone yet: the $299 DJI Mini SE. It appeared to be a revamped Mavic Mini for $100 less — or depending on how you think, $150 more affordable than the $449 DJI Mini 2, our current fav under the $500 mark. The only question was, would it have any real improvements over the aging Mavic Mini or just be an affordable rebrand?
This week, DJI quietly put the Mini SE on sale, and we now have the answer.
Here are the only differences between the old $399 Mavic Mini and the new $299 Mini SE, as far as we can tell by poring over the company’s spec sheets and FAQ:
- It uses the DJI Mini 2’s newer chassis, with fewer exposed screws, stronger arms, and increased wind speed resistance
- It uses the DJI Mini 2’s lighter, more powerful LiPo batteries, propellers, and charging hub
- There’s a USB-C charging port on the drone, instead of micro-USB
- You don’t have to update the firmware to get 24p video or manual ISO settings
- “DJI Mini SE does not have ‘4K’ printed on the lens, and the rear aircraft status indicator is not clickable.”
The rest seems exactly the same — which, importantly, means you don’t get the far longer range and more reliable connection of the DJI Mini 2’s more capable OcuSync controller. The Mini SE comes with the old folding Mavic Mini design that relied on “enhanced Wi-Fi” instead, and you can’t just swap the controller for the newer one either. There’s also no 4K video, just 2.7K and 1080p, and it likely won’t offer the photo quality improvements we enjoyed in our Mini 2 review.
Technically, DJI says a few other accessories are interchangeable between its three mini drones:
The Mavic Mini battery charging hub cannot charge the DJI Mini SE battery, but the DJI Mini SE battery charging hub can charge the Mavic Mini battery.
Although DJI Mini SE can use Mavic Mini’s battery, the power will decrease and the total weight will exceed 250 g, requiring registration in some countries and regions.
The DJI Mini SE Intelligent Flight Battery, propellers, Two-Way Charging Hub, and 360° Propeller Guard are compatible with DJI Mini 2. The Mavic Mini DIY Creative Kit, Mavic Mini Snap Adapter, Mavic Mini Propeller Holder, and Mavic Mini Intelligent Flight Battery (international version) are compatible with DJI Mini SE.
Like with the Mavic Mini, your wireless range depends on where you buy and where you use it, with the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan getting a version (MT2SS5) with 4 km transmission range, while Europe and Asia may be limited to 2 km or even 500 meters depending on the version.
You can find the DJI Mini SE today at Amazon, Adorama, Best Buy, B&H, and eBay in the United States. At under 249 grams, you don’t need to register it here, though you will need to take the FAA’s incredibly quick and easy test if you’ll be flying for fun.